901 Tasting Notes

100

Another Butiki sample. I’m working through them pretty well now after they sat neglected for a while! I really did want to save them until I could enjoy them, though!

This is probably my favourite of the guayusa samples I’ve tried so far. The vanilla is the first thing I can taste, and it melds perfectly with the mint to form a lovely creamy taste. I get hints of lavander in the aftertaste, but it’s not strong. That’s probably a good thing as far as I’m concerned, as I’m not over keen on heavily floral teas. The guayusa is almost undetectable. I have a bag of Good Morning Sunshine in my stash at the moment, but this is another I’d keep around for times when I need a good wake up tea. The flavour is softer and more gentle than some of the other guayusa blends I’ve tried, but the properties of the base tea remain the same. I love this one — definitely one of the best vanilla-mint teas I’ve tried in a long time.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

It’s my favourite too!

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90

I woke up with a headache this morning, and knew I’d want a strong breakfast tea to help sort me out. This one came to mind — a sample I requested with my latest Butiki order. I don’t drink all that many CTC teas now, but they do have a place in my stash for days like this. Unsurprisingly, this one stands up to the pack easily.

It’s really strong, bold, black tea. I gave it the 1.5 minutes recommended, and added a generous splash of milk. It’s relatively sweet and malty, and I’m picking up a few yeasty, bread-like notes. It’s just the kind of no-nonsense tea I can appreciate on a morning, perfect for unashamed quaffing. I’ll definitely be adding a bag of this to my next order, to keep in reserve for days just like this one! Another excellent Butiki tea.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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90

Third Butiki sample. I saved this one until evening, as I like to have a caffeine-free drink at this time of day. Coconut has been a bit of a love/hate ingerdient for me in the past, but if any company can pull it off, I know Butiki can.

The dry mix features long, thin strips of dried coconut, along with red rooibos. I brewed as per the recommended parameters, and added a splash of milk.

As coconut teas go, this is a really, really nice one. It’s smooth and creamy, with a slight oiliness, and a subtle but natural coconut flavour. The rooibos base is slightly nutty, and helps to create a pastry-like flavour. I’m not sure what else is helping to build this aspect, but the pie crust flavour really is there. When all of the elements come together (which happens best after a few sips) the flavour really is reminiscent of coconut creme pie. The coconut, cream and pastry flavours are all easily detectable, and it’s sweet and ridiculously soothing to drink. Perfect for a cold evening!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

Another Butiki sample I’ve been saving for a day when I’d have time to appreciate it. Today is still that day, apparently! While brewing, this one smells deliciously like an almond sugar cookie, or a biscotti. It’s sweet, biscuitty, with the mild, nutty, marzipan scent of almonds. It’s also another of those rare dessert teas that actually taste like they smell. On first sip, I can taste almonds. They’re reasonably delicate, but definitely there. A sweetness slowly develops, making me think of a biscuit or a cookie — something bakey, anyway. It’s possible to taste the black tea base at the end of the sip, but this is something I like. It is tea, after all, and it’s a nice counterpoint to the flavouring. It’s like drinking a cup of fine black tea and eating a sugar cookie alongside, only without the calories. Another one I’d definitely consider repurchasing — fantastic flavouring and a great choice for drinking without milk or sugar.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
JustJames

i love this one….. very nostalgic. =0)

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100

This was a sample with a previous Butiki order. It’s been sitting on top of my sample box, waiting for the right moment. Today I finally gave in. I followed the recommended brew time and temparature, and was rewarded with a medium brown liquor that smells sweetly of chocolate and raspberry. It tastes almost exactly as it smells, which is definitely something to love in a dessert tea. It’s quite rich, and the taste lasts a long time in the mouth. Very much like a raspberry truffle, in that respect. The chocolate is the first flavour to develop, then fresh, slightly tart raspberry, finishing in combination. There’s a little bit of black tea peeking out in the middle of the sip, but I think that actually helps to create the “truffle” aspect, giving the chocolate an almost cocoa-like edge.

I’m glad I saved this for a time when I knew I’d be able to sit and enjoy it, because it truly is delectable. Definitely one I’ll be repurchasing with my next order!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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70
drank White Peony by Adagio Teas
901 tasting notes

A sample from KittyLovesTea This isn’t a new one to me, but as the first White Peony I ever tried, it will always have a place in my heart. For that reason alone, it’s nice to have a little bit more of it. Time and experience have taught me that this isn’t the greatest white peony — the leaves are more black-brown than green, and certainly don’t resemble the picture Adagio use on their website (or the one on here, for that matter). The characterisitc white peony taste is still there, though — delicately floral, sweetly hay-like, sometimes slightly woody and nutty. I know now that there are better ones out there, but I still remember this with fondness.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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70

A surprise holiday sample from Sil! Even the thought of this tea makes my mouth water, so I gave in and allowed myself a cup last night. It’s pretty good. Definitely more truffle/chocolate than almond, but I can detect a smidge of almond flavour as it starts to cool. The chocolate is dark, with a dry, cocoa-like finish. It really is reminiscent of eating a truffle! My only real sadness is that the almond is a little hard to find. It is there, but it’s buried pretty deep under the chocolate and black tea flavours. The black tea is a little astringent, but nothing terrible. I enjoyed this more than I’ve enjoyed most dessert-type teas in a while — perfect for early evening sipping!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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90
drank Lady Grey by Twinings
901 tasting notes

A sample from KittyLovesTea. I have a migraine at the moment, so I’ve not really been drinking much tea today. Mostly just sitting in the dark feeling ill, irritated, and bored. I’ve perked up a bit now, though, and decided to look for something fairly simple from my box of swap teas. This one looked like a contender, so I went for it.

I actually don’t think I’ve tried a Lady Grey before, or at least not that I remember. Interesting, because I actually really like this. It tastes a bit like orange sherbet, or one of those orange cream ice lollies. The orange flavour is most prominent, followed by the black tea base, which is smooth and delicious. My brain isn’t up for much in the way of description at the moment, but there’s not much else to say except I’m really enjoying this. Lady Grey is one to investigate in the future! Thanks again to KittyLovesTea for sharing this with me!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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65
drank Spiced Winter by Teapigs
901 tasting notes

One of my leaving presents from my last job was a box of Teapigs, and I’ve just got around to starting them now. The first one I chose was Spiced Winter — it’s seasonally appropriate, after all. It’s one I pretty much always enjoy, too. The red base is slightly woody, but the orange, cinnamon, and clove spicing more or less covers most of that up. The flavours work together in any case, so it’s actually a pretty successful rooibos to my tastes. It’s probably not one I’d look to keep around other than at Christmas, but it’s a nice caffeine free Christmas tea, and beautifully spiced to boot. An enduring Teapigs winter favourite!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80

Sipdown! Enjoyed the last two cups of this while watching Death Comes to Pemberly last night. I’m still pretty in awe of how much this actually tastes like Christmas cake. It’s fruity, rich, almondy and sweet. Just like the real thing! The snowflake sprinkles and light sprinkling of irridescent glitter make it look seasonal, too. My favourite of Bluebird’s Christmas teas, and a sad sipdown. Hopefully it returns to grace my cupboard again next year!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 25, and I live in Norwich in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’ve also never really tried pu’erh, and that’s something I’m just starting to explore.

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.

Location

Norwich, UK

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